Fall’s musical output insists it’s difficult for everyone to get along. Taunting imagineers YAWN’s alt-pop playground, “Love Chills,” indie-rock workhorse TY SEGAL’s mind-blowing, “Manipulator,” and world-beat peace-keeper SINKANE’s steamy, “Mean Love,” suggest relationships are life’s biggest challenge. While power-pop dance-rockers THE GRISWOLD’s infectious, “Be Impressive,” nimble synthesist SLOW MAGIC’s analogue catalog, “How to Run Away,” and spunky punk-emo GREY GORDON’s blissfully vindictive, “Forget I Brought It Up,” preach interpersonal relief.
Avi Buffalo - At Best Cuckold
Album title: At Best Cuckold
Record Label: Sub Pop
Lofty pop-rock toffee well-versed in majestic modesty, “Cuckold,” sports side-winding stories spiced in lyrical curve-balls and electric fireworks; a tender independence ascending from hungry imaginations lavished in biographical avarice. Wide-eyed and sure-handed, Avi Buffalo’s sophomore foray solidifies jangly band mechanics with living by your wits wisdom and gentle folk-poet moments powered by an unquenchable curiosity, uplifting sympathy and brilliant resilience.
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The History of Apple Pie - Feel Something
Album title: Feel Something
Record Label: Marshall Teller
Raucous frosted Britpop anarchy glazed in porcelain voices, buzz-saw guitars and rampaging bass, bull-riding china-dolls THOAP grind through divine side-show glamour with fuzzed-out jousts around wiry New Wave may-poles. Capturing frazzled carousels spinning in paisley mayhem, “Feel,” reels in snap, crackle and pop, unfastening gung-ho poses around reckless psychedelics; coy, turbo-charged laments played cool, laid low and catchy as hell.
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Cookies - Music for Touching
Album title: Music for Touching
Record Label: (Self-Release)
Trigger-happy theatrics sampling cyber-soul crooners, synth-lounge prowlers and cruise-controlled romancers, “Touching,” ushers in a cosmopolitan collage of post-modern facades. Ranging from smooth nightclub melancholy to savvy alt-pop sunshine, the cautiously exotic Cookies spotlights pitch-perfect song-merchants flipping switches on thrusting struts, lusty stardust and crushing burlesque; sunshine hipsters on a mirror-ball holiday venturing into sensuous Afro-Latin sass covered in techno-drizzled sizzle.
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The Kooks - Listen
Album title: Listen
Record Label: Astralwerks
Exuberant suitors courting flashy blues-rock habits teeming in dreamy Motown, The Kooks erupt in a funky lather of swagger and lager as downtown boogie fitted with hip-swiveling missiles send warning shots over classic bar-room ballads fused to toe-tapping passions. Wicked, snickering hits, “Listen,” pricks ears and kick-starts bristling trashcan symphonies smothered in hardy bravado, genuine sentiment and spirited good cheer.
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Niagara - Don’t Take It Personally
Album title: Don’t Take It Personally
Record Label: Monotreme
A denizen of resplendent gremlins scurrying from hallow choirs to ghostly commotion, “Personally,” pushes plush-pop envelopes into spackled abstractions; swirling, curling ambient stampedes washed in sunrise and dried in twilight wade through translucent truces padded in digi-glitchy mystery. Lost in galactic pageants, the seamlessly silky Niagara aptly captures cagey space-age Camelots fraught with slithery jitterbugged nano-bots programmed for luxurious purpose.
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Sondre Lerche - Please
Album title: Please
Record Label: Mona Records
A level-headed specialist of delicate spectacle and suave carver of melodic marvels, Lerche flirts in elaborate studio panache, dabbling in compact jazz-pop magic whose breezy teasing belie deep emotional dissonance within finely-chiseled songs. A bon vivant post-divorce discourse, “Please,” flees into clever revelry, sly asides digging swinging sophistication, popping corks in proto-baroque explosions primed in champagne refrains and bittersweet cheekiness.
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At the heart of relationships is attraction, stirring emotions and desires we cannot always control. From sleek and stylish nihilists THE JUAN MACLEAN’s robo-propulsive, “In A Dream,” to consciousness-streaming beatniks HALF JAPANESE’s astro-punk slams, “Overjoyed,” ultra-empathetic Stereolab collaborator LAETITIA SADIER’s bright hypnotic dreams, “Something Shines,” and crafty jazz minimalist STEFANO BOLLANI’s charming euphoria, “Joy In Spite of Everything,” strong feelings prove essential to life while Swedish psych-jam ensemble GOAT’s beautiful hallucinogenic epidemic, “Commune,” and inquisitive R&B mine-sweepers THE ASTEROID GALAXY TOUR’s uber-groovy hodgepodge, “Bring Us Together” preach safety in numbers.